August 24, 2005

The Pony in the Dung Heap

This is a tale of twins – a boy and a girl of five or six. Worried that the twins had developed extreme personalities — one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist — their parents took them to a psychiatrist.

First the psychiatrist treated the boy – the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. “What’s the matter” the psychiatrist asked, baffled. “Don’t you want to play with any of the toys” “Yes,” the little boy bawled, “but if I did I’d only break them.”

Next the psychiatrist treated the girl – the optimist. Trying to dampen her outlook, the psychiatrist took her to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling her nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from her brother, the pessimist. Then she clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to her knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with her bare hands. “What do you think you’re doing” the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. “With all this manure,” the little girl replied, beaming, “there must be a pony in here somewhere!”


Every time I spend time with my daughter Swee’Pea, I’m reminded of this joke. While I’m not quite ready to brand TheMonk a pessimist (although he sure can be grumpy), Swee’Pea, in her 11 short weeks on this earth has shown that she is one happy baby. Since she has begun to smile over the past few weeks, the girl smiles all of the time. She smiles while getting her diaper changed, she smiles while taking a bath, she smiles while feeding (which isn’t good because it’s darn near impossible to suck on a bottle and smile at the same time), and I have even seen her smile in her sleep. Her smiles melt my heart and we love to engage in smile play where she coos and smiles while I talk and smile right back. I love that time with her. It’s moments like those that I feel like we’re really connecting.

So, Swee’Pea, keep smiling that adorable smile baby girl. It looks good on you.

However, I do have some bad news.

Sorry, but you’re not getting a pony.

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